Having a credit card is practically a must in these financial times. If you need to rent a car or build credit, a major credit card is necessary. But there is a difference between having a card and abusing it and having a card and using it well. Putting your credit card to work for you can reap some great benefits and even some cash.
Here are some tips on how a card can work for you
1) Choose a Card with Cash Back Options
Make each purchase count by building up your cash back points. I have a card that I cash out every few months for a chunk of change. It usually runs between $50 and $75 with each cash out. That to me is free money as I was going to make the purchase or pay the bill anyway. Not a bad way to make a few extra bucks. Some plans will even allow the cash back to be applied to the balance on the card. Free money is awesome! Programs like this may be available with your bank debit cards that are used as a credit option too. Check with your provider.
2) Take Advantage of 0% APR Promos
Zero percent APR promos can be a great way to pay off another card, if a roll over is allowed, or make a large purchase with no interest. Make sure that you follow the terms of the promo and pay off the balance within the time frame allotted so you are not dinged with an interest charge.
3) Build Points for Travel or Free Goods
Some cards offer points that you can exchange for services, travel, gift cards, or even free goods.Depending on what you want from your card, you usually have plenty of options to shop with your points. Make sure your card does not charge a fee for this service. Most card companies offer these programs as a free perk and they can land you some cool items, travel tickets, or free meals. Free is good!
One thing to note is that while all of these are perks to the card and a wonderful way to make your credit work well for you, it is also important that you maintain a low to zero balance to make your credit account the most efficient for you. Interest rates are expensive and can make the earnings through these types of programs a drop in the bucket. Manage wisely!